Fresh Peaches Baked in Marsala with Mascarpone Cream
This combination of fresh, ripe peaches and the luscious flavour of Marsala wine makes a supremely good summer dessert that has the added advantage of being made well in advance. Mascarpone cream cheese has a rich dairy flavour, but it does tend to be a bit heavy, so mixing it with an equal quantity of fromage frais lightens the texture without losing the flavour.
This recipe is taken from Delia Smith's Summer Collection.
For the peaches:
6 firm ripe peaches
10 fl oz (275 ml) sweet Marsala wine
1½ oz (40 g) caster sugar
1 inch (2.5 cm) cinnamon stick
1 vanilla pod
1 rounded teaspoon arrowroot
For the mascarpone cream:
4 rounded tablespoons mascarpone
4 rounded tablespoons 8 per cent fat fromage frais
a few drops of pure vanilla extract
1 level dessertspoon caster sugar
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C).
You will also need a shallow baking dish.
Begin by halving the peaches and removing their stones, then place the halves in a bowl, pour boiling water over them and, after 30 seconds, drain them and slip off their skins.
Now place the peach halves in the shallow baking dish, mix the sugar and Marsala in a jug and pour it over the peaches.
Add the cinnamon stick and vanilla pod to the dish, then place it on the centre shelf of the oven and bake without covering for 35-40 minutes. Then remove the peaches from the oven and drain off all the juices into a small saucepan.
Mix the arrowroot with a little cold water and then add it to the saucepan and whisk over a gentle heat until slightly thickened. This will happen as soon as it reaches simmering point.
Then pour it back over the peaches and leave to cool.
Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours to allow the flavour to develop fully.
To make the mascarpone cream, simply beat all the ingredients together thoroughly and pile into a pretty serving bowl to hand round separately.